Diary makers seek relief from excise duty

Staff Reporter

It would have a crippling affect on the industry, claim manufacturers

NEW DELHI: The Diaries Manufacturers' Association has urged Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to re-consider the imposition of eight per cent excise duty on diaries and similar articles, as this would have a crippling affect on the industry that is already reeling under the impact of the latest technology -- electronic diaries, laptops and other related data storing facilities.

In a statement here on Saturday, Association president Balwant Chhabra said manufacturers of these articles were small unit holders who provided employment to unskilled and semi-skilled workers. Any further burden of taxes would lead to large scale unemployment as the manufacturers would be forced to cut down on workforce and curtail the size of manufacturing to meet the rising input cost.

Mr. Chhabra said that with the innovation of latest technology, the diary industry was facing tough competition from electronic gadgets like address books, mobile diaries, electronic diaries and laptops. In fact, the demand for diaries has gone down considerably with the introduction of these latest products. "In this critical situation, the trade is in dire need of Government support but it has been further burdened with the imposition of eight per cent excise in the latest Budget."

Mr. Chhabra said the small-scale manufacturer is not eligible to avail the exemption of Rs. 1 crore in the case of manufacturing the diaries for other people in their own brand name.